Joe Bonamassa: Guitar Hero

For my second show at the Orpheum this week I went to check out Blues guitar legend Joe Bonamassa. A dramatic shift in atmosphere from last week’s lecture, but certainly a welcome one.

Unlike his last appearance in the Twin Cities, a year ago at the State Theater, this time Joe did not start slow or play any acoustic songs. The show started, stayed and ended on a heavy note. Every guitar was electric, aided by bongos, a traditional drum set, a bass guitar, couple keyboards and a horn section.

On-Stage Action

The show was lively, with Bonamassa bouncing around the stage in his signature black suit and sunglasses. Another difference from the last time he was in town was the health of his vocal chords.

Last year he started out the show by apologizing in advance for his weakened voice. This time around his voice was strong, and he was really able to take command of the stage.

There is no intermission at a Joe Bonamassa show. There is a certain frenzy to these shows — an undeniable energy to go with the smoke machines and light show. At the heart of this performance is a true virtuoso at his craft and for guitar enthusiasts, it must be just short of a religious experience to see him play live.

Inspiration for us All

Joe Bonamassa started playing the guitar as a young child. He even got a chance to perform with legends like B.B. King as a young boy. Years of work have brought him to a point where he can sell out two consecutive nights at the Orpheum.

Overall, his story is one of perseverance, hard work, dream following and brilliant brand management. What many assume came naturally, Joe often explains, took many years of dedication to the craft. A lesson for all of us in our own fields of study.

I don’t play the guitar myself, but I can respect the talent that was on display Saturday night. Besides, Joe makes it look so cool that I might just pick one up someday soon. If you have even a passing interest in guitars, the Blues, or music in general, do yourself a favor and check out a Joe Bonamassa show.


2 thoughts on “Joe Bonamassa: Guitar Hero

  1. Thanks for your review on the show. I had so very much wanted to go to either of last week’s performances, but could not make the time. I’ve seen Joe Bonamassa several times and in a variety of settings. He is a master!!!

  2. That sounds like it was an amazing show, Joe Bonamassa has such a cool unique sound. Sometimes when you go to shows in large auditoriums you feel like it loses intimacy. However, one of my favorite shows was Roger Waters at Excel. I bet this show was truly awesome.

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